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How Things Might Have BeenIndividuals, Kinds, and Essential Properties$
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Penelope Mackie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199272204.001.0001

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Origin Properties and Individual Essences

Origin Properties and Individual Essences

Chapter:
(p.47) 3 Origin Properties and Individual Essences
Source:
How Things Might Have Been
Author(s):

Penelope Mackie (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199272204.003.0003

Graeme Forbes has argued that many ordinary persisting things (including people, animals, and plants) can be attributed non-trivial individual essences that include distinctive features of their origins. According to Forbes, this enables us to interpret de re modal claims about such individuals in terms of identity across possible worlds without embracing ‘bare identities’. This chapter considers various problems that Forbes’s proposal confronts, and concludes that there are no plausible candidates for non-trivial individual essences of the type that his theory requires. A version of Chisholm’s Paradox about identity across possible worlds, and of the ‘Four Worlds Paradox’ identified by Nathan Salmon are discussed.

Keywords:   bare identities, Chisholm’s Paradox, Forbes, Four Worlds Paradox, haecceitism, identity across possible worlds, individual essence, origin, Salmon, unshareable essential property

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